Tuesday, March 2, 2010

mixed bag

So a little bit of everything has been going on in the classroom the past few weeks. In my 1-2 class we are starting up a ceramic project or a series of and with my 3-4 class we are finishing up the Renaissance busts they have been working on for the past two months. So here it is, a mixed bag of random conversations:

Last week, one of my students, let's call him Joe (well, not really mine but my master teacher's - he knows who I am because I gave him an uniform violation when I subbed one of his classes, which turned into a detention, which then turned into another detention, which then turned into a referral - bummer for him), came into the restaurant I work in (a girl has to make a living somehow....it is not like I am getting paid to student teacher). I don't mind my students coming into my restaurant. Most of my kids know that I am a waitress. Some have even said they were going to come in one night, although none have. Anyway, this kid comes in with his family and waves hi to me. I just laughed. He doesn't sit in my section but keeps saying "don't spit in my food." HA! The next day I see him at school, he asked me if I was embarrassed that one of my students came into the restaurant I work in. Following that with "I would be." Jackass.

The beginning of this week, one of Joe's friends, who is my student (the Valentine guy), approaches me and says, "so what were you and Joe talking about when he came into your restaurant?" Nothing I tell him. He then jumps in and says "but Joe said that you two talked a lot." Not really. "You had to have talked to him about something." I told his family that he should come to school in his uniform. "Ms. Stuart, what did you and Joe talk about?!" It was killing him. Made me laugh...on the inside because laughing at him would have been mean.

In my 1-2 classes, we started using clay. I do not know what it is, but high school boys have serious issues with clay. They cannot get through clay lessons without making crude jokes. Yesterday we started making a pinch pot. For those of you who are not familiar with making a pinch pot, one must make a ball of clay (jokes ranging from "Ms. Stuart, is my ball big enough?" to "Ms. Stuart, my ball is bigger than his" to "balls"). After making a ball of clay, you have to stick your thumb or finger in the clay to start pinching it and forming the pot. I am sure most of you can imagine what happens when you have to state that you need to stick you finger in the ball of clay and then demo this. It is not easy to keep a straight face with all of this going on. Then there is demonstrating how to use your fingers to smooth the inside of the pot and so on. You almost feel dirty after all of this, especially when you tell them that they are going to get dirty and they laugh. Once I was subbing for a ceramics class and I was teaching three boys how to wedge clay (to get the air bubbles out) and their "interest" in me wedging clay was too much that I just walked away. They were just staring at me. Ewww.

Today we "gave birth" to some of our Renaissance busts. This is the end of the project. This is huge! "Giving birth" is when we remove the bust from the armature. This is a painful process. Many times the head falls off. Some times we have to perform surgery and cut the bust in half and remove it in sections. No one likes this but it is clay and easily fixed. I am helping this girl remove her bust from the armature. We get the bust off the armature. I tell her "congratulations!" She responds, "look! it is a girl!" Hehe.

I can't believe I almost forgot this one: one of my girl students in my 1-2 class looks at me Monday and asks, "Ms. Stuart, does birth control have any bad side effects?" IN FRONT OF HER ENTIRE TABLE. Who does that? I directed her to her doctor or parents or even the nurse. She asks me again. I tell her, again, that she should talk to her doctor or parents about it. I wasn't ready for that. It was 9:30am and I was sick (still kind of am....my students gave me their cooties), a little slow and not able to think fast enough. I just stared at her, thinking: really? You are going to ask me that now? Do you not care what people think? (She is a freshman...I don't think that is something you announce at that age...or maybe you do now?) Do you expect me to sit down at your table and have this conversation in the middle of class? She just kept looking at me with this big eyes waiting for an answer. I finally said, if you really want to have that discussion, see me after class. This is not the time or place. I have a feeling that question is going to come up again. I should really be prepared...but if I ignore this and pretend it won't happen again, am I off the hook?